Golf: Ryan Fox to go to Sports Tribunal if unsuccessful in Olympic bid

By Matt Brown

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox. Photo / Mike Scott
Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox. Photo / Mike Scott

New Zealand men's golf number two Ryan Fox has indicated he will take his case to the Sports Tribunal if his Olympic nomination is not ratified by the NZOC on Monday.

The world number 184 has been nominated for selection by New Zealand Golf after edging Mike Hendry (186) in the race to be ranked number two by yesterday's deadline.

He joins certainties for Rio, Kiwi number one Danny Lee (ranked 40) and women's number one Lydia Ko. Cathryn Bristow has secured the second women's nomination ahead of Liv Cheng with her ranking of 446.

While Bristow's position could be tenuous, she is ranked 60th and last on the entry list; Fox is comfortably inside the 60 strong field at 44. Fox told Radio Sport he would appeal if not selected.

Listen: Ryan Fox talks to Radio Sport's Matt Brown

"Yeah I think so, I don't really want to think about it at this point but I would certainly like to go and having qualified think there's probably grounds to go" Fox said.

"I've heard they [NZOC] will come back in a couple of days and I should know provisionally by Thursday or Friday and have a chance to appeal or not appeal if I get selected or not. It's a difficult process and I am happy to have at least qualified and I hope the New Zealand Olympic Committee confirm my selection.

Fox acknowledged New Zealand has strict Olympic selection criteria, with athletes having to be ranked inside the world's top 16 or show they are capable of a top 16 finish.

"Golf's a funny sport, just because you are top 20 in the world doesn't mean you will finish in the top 20 in every event. I like to think I have been playing well over the last couple of weeks and if I can continue to play like that in Rio I would like to think I can finish in the top 16 or higher."

He believes the fact golf is returning to the Olympics after a more than 100 year absence is also an advantage along with the fact lower ranked players regularly beat the big names in Majors.

"Rankings don't necessarily mean much; there have been guys who win majors from outside the top 200 in a world with a strong field." Fox said.

More than 20 leading male golfers headlined by Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy won't be on the first tee in Rio and Fox says the strength of the field should also work in his favour.

"I'm hoping my chances are good and the more and more top guys that pull out strengthen my chances even more and I am hoping that spot will be available for me. It would be the highlight of my year to be able to do it and probably the highlight of a career to say you are an Olympian so I would certainly like to go." Fox said.

New Zealand Golf CEO Dean Murphy is unwavering in his belief all four players dominated should go to Rio. "If you make the field of 60 there's no cut it's a four round tournament and all of those players have placed inside the top 16 in major tours around the world and we think they should be there."

Ryan Fox is not playing the Open Championship and will spend a few days practicing with his coach Marcus Wheelhouse this week before heading to France to defend his title on the European Challenge Tour next week.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Mar 2017 19:35:49 Processing Time: 475ms